The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra (CSO) can trace its roots to the Cheyenne Little Symphony, which was organized in 1935 by Mr. Clyde G. and Mrs. Alice Ross, both prominent Cheyenne musicians. Twenty-five people belonged to the early orchestra that was conducted by Mr. Ross, a violinist, while Mrs. Ross played the piano. In 1951, Mrs. Ross organized the Cheyenne Civic Symphony and served as its first president. Mr. Eugene Adams served as conductor.
In July 1954, the Cheyenne Civic Symphony and the Cheyenne Community Chorus joined forces. During this period, several conductors, including local educator Rex Yocum, led the ensembles. The merger of the Symphony and Chorus lasted for nearly 30 years; the influence is still apparent in CSO’s strong ties with local choral ensembles today.
By 1981, community support and demand for high-caliber entertainment created an opportunity for the organization to expand. Robert Carter Austin was hired as Music Director and helped to lead the initial transition from amateur to professional ensemble. Over the years, the baton has been passed to many internationally acclaimed Maestros including David Lockington, Mark Russell Smith, Stephen Alltop and finally our current Maestro William Intriligator.